The Rapidan Service Authority (RSA) Board of Directors voted 3-2 at its Thursday, June 18 meeting to withhold charging the administrative fee portion of the facility fee on the monthly service bills.
RSA provides water and sewer for areas in Greene County. The facility fee, imposed by the Greene County Board of Supervisors, is $30 per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) purchased. One EDU consists of the capacity of one single-family residence.
Per contract, the county pays 10% of the fee to RSA, which is $3 per EDU. Additionally, the board agreed to extend the waver of late fees and disconnection fees through Aug. 31.
“If we follow the SCC (State Corporation Commission), they have now mandated Aug. 31, and I don’t know if they’ll extend it past that or not,” RSA General Manager Tim Clemons told the board. “They do have control over private utilities. They don’t have control over us.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic, RSA has returned its portion to customers.
Customers will still be billed the $30 facility fee, while $3 is currently rebated to them.
“As I stated in a letter to the board on April 25, in comments prior to a similar vote or meeting on May 21, I cannot support the Greene County portion of the waiver, not because I don’t support providing relief to our customers during this difficult time. I very much do. Because we had been provided a legal opinion, advising against it,” said Bill Martin, Stanardsville supervisor and Greene County representative on the RSA board.
Vice Chairman Lee Frame, Orange County RSA representative, said he understands the concern.
“It looks like we are altering your facility fee,” Frame said. “But if it’s still showing up as a facility fee on the bills for $30 then it doesn’t appear that it’s been changed.”
Martin said that according to the contract regarding altering fees, both RSA and the Greene County Board of Supervisors must agree.
“Both boards have not weighed in on this,” Martin said.
The first month RSA billed a $27 facility fee, but after hearing from the county’s attorney switched to it back to a $30 facility fee and offered a rebate of $3, Clemons said.
“Both RSA and Greene County have to agree to the facility fee change,” Frame said. “And if we’re talking about changing some portion of it, although we don’t change the facility fee, we just give them a rebate out of one pot or another. I’m having a hard time seeing where that’s affecting Greene County’s thing. If we were only billing a $27 facility fee then I can understand the concern about that. I’m having a hard time understanding the concern if it shows up on the bill as a $30 facility fee.”
RSA attorney Terry Lynn agreed.
Frame motioned that RSA should follow the SCC deadline of Aug. 31 regarding late fees and that RSA bill a $30 facility fee and offer a $3 rebate and revisit it at a later time if necessary.
Martin and Ron Williams, both Greene County representatives on the RSA board, voted against it. Frame and Jim Crozier, both Orange County representatives and Troy Coppage, from Madison County, voted in favor.
For more information, contact RSA at (434) 985-7811 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit the website rapidan.org.